Nations Aiding Ethiopia Should Strengthen Advocacy Not Infrastructural Development

Staying in touch with family, and friends in Ethiopia is quiet tougher than you would assume for a quick developing country with such great name for its capital – Addis Ababa. The state of emergency declared by the country has made living more difficult for most residents but particularly expatriates and tourists. The shutdown of some social media platforms and other media platforms after conflicts in public gatherings posing threat to both tourists and locals, has made it difficult for majority of youth to stay in touch with their global networks.

What does this mean for the country’s tourism sector? The capital, Addis Abba has gained continuous popularity and in recent decades the city has attracted so much developmental investments which is targeted at boosting infrastructure in the capital. Receiving foreign aids, and with a strong union with China, infrastructural development is booming and accordingly increasing tourism. As Ethiopia remains one of the countries countering terrorism within its region, others sees that role play as the invisible hand making Ethiopia desired by some tourists and also facilitating Western relief aid. China’s role in Ethiopia opens up investment and business opportunities which attracts private investors and businesses. This helps the country economically, but then, what happens to residents and citizens in the country if human right is not well championed and people do not have much freedom as they desire.

As Western countries provide aid in developing the country and China plays an important role in opening up infrastructural and economic development in Ethiopia, it is essential to acknowledge the role of political stability in harmonizing the business and economic environment. The shutdown of social media and conflict in public spaces does not help anyone – it prevents residents from many alternatives of interacting visually with world and bringing admirers to the country. More so, foreigners who wish to render aid in the form of volunteering and interning in the country may re-consider their interest. Thus, there is a call on all countries interested in developing the country to go beyond building airports, stadiums, railways, and other infrastructures, and commence supporting civil society organizations (CSOs) in championing advocacy in diverse fields (Environmental protection, human rights, poverty reduction, food security, decent work and economic growth) to shape the future of the nation for the youth and the future. CSOs must function to protect the environment and natural resources as the country is in its developmental stages with infrastructure as a key sector.

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